Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook. In this edition, we discuss tight end targets and a rescheduled visit to campus.
Moving on from Luke Ford, Arkansas can get a quality 2018 TE
Arkansas lost the commitment of tight end Luke Ford last month. From Carterville, Ill., he is a 4-star and the No. 76 overall prospect in the 2018 class. While it’s a blow — Ford was by far the Hogs’ highest-rated commit — there’s hope at the position in this class.
It appears unlikely Ford will come back into the fold. He recently stated Alabama is now his leader with schools such as Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Texas and a few others close behind. It’ll be tough for the Razorbacks to re-secure his pledge with that sort of competition.
So, assuming Ford is out of the picture, there are two prospects in particular that Razorback fans should be keeping an eye on at this point.
The first is Boca Raton, Fla., 3-star Dante Lang. The Hogs were in on Lang early, offering him as a defensive end in December just after Florida Atlantic became his first a month earlier. He’s since seen his number of options skyrocket to more than 20 offers. Some of those are to play tight end, others at defensive end and at least a handful for whichever he prefers. At 6-foot-5, 222 pounds, he fits the build for either position. (It’s also not out of the question he could be an outside linebacker in the Hogs’ 3-4 scheme.)
Lang recently told the Palm Beach Post he has Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky and LSU as his top choices. He also said at that time (June 20) the Razorbacks were recruiting him as a defensive lineman. However, a source has told SEC Country that Arkansas may be interested in shifting gears and pursuing Lang as a tight end now that Ford appears headed elsewhere.
If they opted to give Lang the opportunity to play tight end, the Razorbacks would likely elevate their chances of landing his commitment. After all, giving him two possibly scholarship spots to fill is better than one. Additionally, the Hogs may be out of spots on defensive line in this class with two commits already and serious options for a third and final pledge in the near future.
Arkansas remains in a position of advantage over some of Lang’s options because of the early offer and his relationship with inside linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves, who is the Hogs’ primary recruiter in Florida. Lang has Fayetteville on his short list of desired places to visit before making a decision. If at all, that trip would likely come as an official visit this fall.
The other intriguing option is 3-star Glenn Beal from John Curtis High School in New Orleans. SEC Country LSU reporter Sam Spiegelman has the Tigers as Beal’s top choice. Spiegelman also believes LSU’s coaching staff views Beal as the top priority at the position. So, it’s obvious Beal isn’t likely to be leaving Louisiana.
All that being said, things could change quickly if another tight end (Ford being an example) settles on a commitment to the Tigers before Beal. LSU already has 3-star Zach Sheffer from Florida committed at the position. It’s highly unlikely the Tigers would take three tight ends. In this scenario, though unlikely, the Razorbacks could stand to be the primary beneficiary with Beal. He recently listed the Hogs among his top six choices — along with Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Oregon and UCLA. That proves, at the very least, Arkansas is pushing to get him and he’s listening.
Neither Lang nor Beal has visited Fayetteville yet, so don’t consider the Hogs’ chances to be strong until that happens. But both players are on the radar and are talented enough to make up for at least some of what was lost with Ford.
OLB target Maureese Wren reschedules visit
Arkansas 2018 outside linebacker target Maureese Wren will not be visiting Arkansas this weekend as originally scheduled. He instead plans to make a visit to Fayetteville later this month, sources have told SEC Country.
Wren (6-foot-4, 216 pounds) has listed Sept. 27, his birthday, as the likely date he’ll announce his commitment. He is a 3-star athlete recruit according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He’s capable of playing outside linebacker or wide receiver, and has been recruited at both spots. The Razorbacks view him as an outside linebacker. Last season at Horn High School in Mesquite, Texas, Wren primarily played receiver.
Arkansas offered Wren on June 19. The Hogs are joined by Baylor, Colorado, Missouri, Utah, Washington and 14 other FBS programs on his list of offers. Arkansas cornerback commit Tanner McCalister from Heath High School (Rockwall, Texas) is friends with Wren. McCalister is one of three Razorbacks commits from the Dallas area, the same region where Wren lives.
Wren has regularly updated news regarding his recruiting process via Twitter, though don’t expect that to be the case going forward. He recently tweeted he was “logging off” Twitter in order to focus on his senior season, stating he would reactivate it to announce his commitment choice.
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